The new coaching staff is a little more difficult to predict than Mike Smith and co., but we at the Falcoholic have some expectations for final cuts. I would expect to see more of the late round and undrafted players to make the roster this year. Players perhaps with less talent that fit the new schemes have a legitimate shot at knocking a few veterans off of the roster.
We will take a look at a few players and how they managed last night.
Southward has been a hot name recently, if only because he seems to have gone from a third round selection to fringe player in just over 12 months. Similar to last season, Southward gave a mixed performance last night. He came up with a huge hit in run support, and can make plays on special teams. The problem is he still can't make plays in coverage, and may need his special teams play to secure his roster spot.
Southward could easily go either way. There is a lot of competition at corner, and the coaching staff already handpicked their project corner in Jalen Collins.
Who was wearing the 41 jersey last night? While he was playing against backups last night, Starr got a good number of sacks and was making a nice impression not only rushing the passer, but held up quite well in the run game.
A few months ago, many had assumed (or I had assumed), that Starr was all but gone. However, if last night was any indication, Starr showed enough on defense to stick on the roster.
Career journeyman Phillip Adams has seen extensive playing time this preseason, and even started last night across from Robert Alford. Granted, Desmond Trufant is injured, but the coaching staff clearly likes Adams. He may be an underrated free agency signing that contributes this season.
What? No one is excited about a fullback battle? DiMarco has spent the last few years as Atlanta's underwhelming fullback, and played five snaps last night. On his three run blocking snaps, PFF awarded him with a -1 grade. He is gone.
I still have trouble figuring out exactly what Toilolo brings to the table. Is he a good blocker? Is he a good pass catcher? I have seen him do both well, but either is pretty rare and they certainly never happen on the same drive. Toilolo had an impressive catch last night, but was blown up in the run game against backups. His offseason improvements are likely too little, too late.
Who have I overlooked? And who had a great, or terrible, game four?